Puerto Morelos: Where travelers go for an authentic Mexican experience

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Puerto Morelos, a small fishing town 20 minutes south of Cancun, is a where-the-food, the sea and friendly locals and expats attract traveler’s seeking an authentic Mexican experience. Just a few main streets across and less than ten blocks long, this small fishing village encapsulates the tastes of many regions of the world, including some of the freshest Mexican cuisine one can get.

Close to the town square, there is a pier that stretches into the blue waters of the Caribbean. One block away from the beach is Abbey del Sol, a beautiful vacation rental surrounded by palm trees. Behind the gate and yellow colored wall with blue trim, there is a line of bikes next to a small bench as you approach the front of the main office on your way to your vacation rental. The sound of the water fountain gives you the first glimpse of tranquility that you will experience in Puerto Morelos. The privacy, comfort, and amenities such as wi-fi, full kitchen and a freshly cleaned pool daily are just a few options to make you want to linger for more
than a week.

Things to do while staying in Puerto Morelos:
1. Walk the beach
2. Swim the Caribbean
3. Snorkel for around $25 near the pier in the town center
4. Rent a bike and ride around town
5. Eat! There is so much good food in this small town
6. Check out a cenote (underground waterhole to swim in)
7. Take a tour to one of the magnificent Mayan Ruins such as Ek Balam,
Tulum, or Mayapan
8. Learn to calm your mind and enjoy the serene part of the beach life
9. Talk to new people and hear their stories
10. Eat more food!

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As you approach the front desk to check in, you might meet Nancy, the receptionist. She provided us with great information about the local area. Nancy spoke about several reasons to come back in the early fall,such as the sea turtles that come to the region to lay their eggs or the whale sharks that migrate to the area. Nancy also informed us about a small animal, with big eyes and a tail, called CoatiMundi (a relative ofthe raccoon in North America) that can be seen early in the morning near the mangrove in Puerto Morelos.

The nearby leaning lighthouse on the beach is a symbol of this friendly town. Many people choose to rent bicycles from Pily at GreenBikeRentals.com or walk around the streets because it is safe and easily accessible. It is the best way to experience your trip to Puerto.

While in Puerto Morelos, you can snorkel the largest coral reef system in the Northern Hemisphere, swim in a cenote (water hole in ground), go off-roading through the jungle on an all-terrain vehicle (ATV), or get a massage on the beach from Violetta or from the Mayan Jungle Spa just a short cab ride away.

For a day trip, visit one or several Mayan archeological ruin sites from Puerto Morelos such as the famous Chichen Itza, classified as one of the “New Great Wonders of the World.” About an hour south are the ruins at Tulum, set against the backdrop of the Caribbean Sea. 

Those who came, and never left
Anthony Chalas, 38, from New Jersey decided to move south to Puerto Morelos and start a restaurant that has live music and popular sporting event on the televisions. When I asked what his reasoning for taking such a big chance and starting a business in Puerto Morelos he replied, “I’d wanted to move to the Caribbean since I was 21 years old to open something, all the while half looking for a location that suited me. I stumbled on Puerto Morelos while on vacation with my family.

I came back alone and found the spot that is now La Sirena. I negotiated the lease by email and translator using a real estate broker in New Jersey who was from Mexico. I eventually flew down, met an attorney and the same day and signed final negotiations and the lease. At that point, I went back to NJ and sold off my car, share of the business, and most of my belongings. Three months later I arrived in the evening.

Ninety days later we opened.” Anthony isn’t the only one from North America that moved to this piece of heaven. Abbey, the owner of Abbey Del Sol headed down to Puerto in 2003 to stay in a friend’s rental and then within days afterward decided to stay for a while longer. “It is amazing where a simple ‘yes’ can lead you. We arrived in Puerto Morelos and fell in love with the quaint little town. Five days into the vacation, Tiff was out looking for a retirement home to buy. We’ve heard this story from many others. The town captures your heart in a way that makes it feel like home right away.”

Abbey said about their journey on the Abbey Del Sol webpage. They continued their endeavors and began renting out rooms to happy travelers. “My husband and I never thought of the bottom line as the cause of this business.” as she referred to her appreciation forthe meaningful things in life which is also shown at Abbey Del Sol.

I also met Jin, who provided the transfer to Abbey and has been employed by Abbey and Tiff for the past 12 years. Jin also owns a restaurant with his brother in town and wantsto start up a tourism agency. Jin is a reat example of the kindness of this community as well as the happy environment that they share with its visitors. I hope that you too can become friends with a gentleman as such.

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8 Restaurants with Food and Drinks under $10 in Puerto Morelos – In no particular order

1) Lau’s Comida China – Chinese- I know this is Mexico, but I try Chinese everywhere in the world and you should definitely go here and try their freshly made crab rangoons.
2) Los Gauchos – Argentinian – Grab the flavors of the Portuguese chicken when you go here.
3) Pelicanos– Mexican – Margaritas here are delicious and a romantic share with your partner. The more you get, the more tequila ends up in your drink.
4) Taco’s.com – Mexican – Don’t let the name fool you into thinking it is a corporate chain, because it is not. You can get fresh tacos for a great price. It is a small shop, but well worth the wait if the tables are busy.
5) La Casa Del Farito– Mexican – The mussels or nachos are excellent.
6) La Panza es Primero – Mexican – Try the Morelos Burrito, you won’t regret it.
7) La Sirena – Mediterranean, American, Mexican Fusion
8) CoCo Cocina – Vegan food with Mexicano spice – Delicious flavors
that will make omnivores turn vegan. Huge portions.

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